Even This

In Even This, BARBRA receives the final notice that her home will be taken over by the state within 30 days unless she pays what’s overdue.  Her teenage son EDDIE tries to help her come up with a plan.

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Even This

(Barbra answers a knock on her door)

Barbra: Can I help you?

Man: No, but I’m here to deliver this letter.  You have thirty days left or your home will be taken over by the State.

(Man walks away)

(Barbra opens to envelope and reads.  She sits down on the front porch)

(Eddie enters)

Eddie: Mom, who was that man?

Barbra: Huh? Oh, he, he gave me this letter here (reading)…we have thirty days to pay or we’re going to lose the house.  It’s a final warning…

Eddie: How much do we owe?

Barbra: …Ten thousand…

Eddie: What are we gonna do?

Barbra: That bastard.  One year more and it would have been ours…this land…everything on it.

Eddie: You need to call him.

Barbra: I wish him dead.

Eddie: He has the money Mom, you know he does.

Barbra: Oh, I know it…he’s out there living the high life, leaving you me and your sister out here in the gutter…he couldn’t just give us even this…even this.

Eddie: Call him or better yet let’s go visit him now.

Barbra: He lives two hours north from here.  What are we supposed to do, walk?

Eddie: If that’s what we must do.

Barbra: I’ve called him fifty times.

Eddie: You have?  When?

Barbra: I’ve tried him morning, noon and night.  Doesn’t matter what time of day.

Eddie: We can’t let him get away with this!

Barbra: What am I supposed to do, jump on his back?  I’ve called him enough times to make my fingers bleed.

Eddie: What about Uncle Tobey?  He could take us.

Barbra: Your Uncle Tobey is a waste of a drunk, never did a damn bit for anybody least of all me or you kids.  Besides, even if he did take us without sliding off the road, he blow your father’s brains out his skull with his shotgun.

Eddie: You’re an exaggerator.

Barbra: You think so, do ya?  I’ve seen your Uncle do worse with both my eyes.  He’s a wild fool and good for nothing.  Don’t ask me again.

Eddie: Well, what the hell are we gonna do?  We need to save the house.

Barbra: We can’t.  Don’t you think I’ve been looking into everything.  I haven’t found a solution yet.

Eddie: What about borrowing the money and we work it off?  I’ll help Mom, I can give you all my money.

Barbra: What money?

Eddie: I have two hundred dollars saved.

Barbra: Where’d you go and get two hundred dollars from?

Eddie: I’ve been working.

Barbra: You’re telling me you saved two hundred dollars working at the candy store?

Eddie: Yeah, Rosie like me.  She looks out for me.  She pays me more than the other boys.

Barbra: Really?  Well good ole Rosie better take it easy before I bop her one over the head.  Old hag she is!  Make sure she keeps her paws off of you.

Eddie: She’s a nice old lady.

Barbra: Don’t be fooled, son.

Eddie: Well, the two hundred is yours.  Who could we borrow from?

Barbra: Golly if I know.

(pause.)

Eddie: What about Mr. Hank?

Barbra: Hank?  Boy, what’s gotten into your little head?

Eddie: I know he’s soft on you.  He’s always coming over here, asking if we need anything and that one time he gave me that baseball glove.  Come on, he’s got money too, I’ve seen his car.

Barbra: Boy, that Mr. Hank is a Mr. Slimeball.  He ain’t rich, nothing.

Eddie:  What you talking about Mom, I’ve seen his house.

Barbra: That house has been in his family for centuries.  It’s about to fall over to one side.

Eddie: Let’s ask him for money before it does.

Barbra: I said no!  Hank is a gambling man.  One day he’s rich, the next day he’s poor.  He’s all over the damn place.

Eddie: Borrow money on his rich day, Mom.

Barbra: You think you’re cute…you are though.  I love you, boy.

(she hugs her son)

Eddie: I love you too, Mom but let’s talk to him, it’s the only chance we have.

Barbra: That’s a shot in the dark, that is…

Eddie: Any other ideas?

Barbra: I don’t know what to expect, what the outcome will be…

Eddie: If we get some money, it can buy us time, I’m sure we can figure something out together Mom, I promise.  Please, I don’t want to lose the house.  I’ll get another job and quit school.

Barbra: You ain’t quitting nothing!

Eddie: I can work until we pay things off!

Barbra: Get away from me.  I can’t talk about this anymore.

Eddie: Mom, I’ll do anything for you.

Barbra: I know honey.  It’s alright.  Everything is gonna be alright.

Joseph Arnone

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